Buying a Sideboard – Strike the Right Balance Between Style and Functionality

Homemakers with a flair for designing have one thing in common with professionally trained interior decorators – they know how to strike a good balance between functionality and style. Buying a sideboard is one such step in the right direction. These days, there are several sideboard designs to choose from. They come in varied shapes, patterns, styles, designs, and utility quotient to add more value to space they occupy. Sideboards evoke a strong sense of sophistication and style while allowing homemakers to keep their homes more organised.

If you are planning to include a sideboard in your personal space then what follows below is for you. Here, you’ll get to know more about sideboards – functional and elegant pieces of furniture – and what to remember before making their purchase.

What is a Sideboard?

First things first, what exactly is a sideboard? A sideboard refers to a piece of furniture, that’s usually found in a dining room. It’s useful for storing and displaying serving dishes, or for serving food and beverages at a gathering. In general, sideboards are low-profile, slim, short-legged cabinets that are best placed against a wall. In contemporary open-concept homes, sideboards are placed along the backside of modern sofas/ couches to accentuate the functionality of living or dining spaces.

You may choose to have shelves or drawers, or both, inside your sideboard. The cabinet type sideboards are used for closed, concealed storage. At times, they also feature open shelves and an open tabletop for the purpose of displaying and serving appetisers, food, or drinks. In addition, a modern sideboard ( is helpful in getting all extra things off your dining table if you’re having guests over. Sideboards can be purchased in different shapes, colours, styles, and sizes. It is possible to choose from smart finishes such as glossy vinyl or matte metal, white sideboards, or traditional woodgrain finishes among many other textures.

How do Credenzas, Buffets, Sideboards, and Servers Differ?

Also referred to as servers or buffets, sideboards are quite similar to credenzas. Sideboards are known to fulfil the function of these pieces of furniture fitfully. This effectively means that in case you have a credenza in mind, a cabinet or sideboard buffet would match up to your expectations equally well. However, an important distinction between a sideboard and credenza is that the latter includes file storage capacity for an office. In addition, unlike other cabinet types, there are no legs in a credenza. In most cases, these furniture pieces are to be found in dining areas for storing wine and dishes or serving food.

Sideboards – Favoured from the Middle Ages

Sideboards are immaculately designed for holding decanters, side dishes, plates, and other accessories required for any meal. In certain cases, they also feature drawers and cupboards for additional storage area. From times immemorial, a sideboard has been defined as a stepped structure that’s useful for showcasing conspicuously valuable utensils for eating purposes.

Until the beginning of the 19th century, a sideboard was restricted to the basic table shape, often with eight legs for added support. Thereafter, hollow storage pedestals and drawers for storing cutlery, napkins, etc. found their way into sideboards. As time progressed, 19th-century sideboards were an imperative feature of mass-produced suites and dining rooms. They were more complex and heavier in design. The bottom part of these cabinet-like structures was divided into cupboards that extended to the floor. Even in the 20th century, ornately carved and elaborately designed sideboards retained their function. Nowadays, you may find a wine cooler included in the primary structure of contemporary-style sideboards. You will also find defined spaces that are specifically made for chamber pots. It’s common to find the reversion of simpler styled sideboards, such as those in 18th-century designs, becoming more popular by the day.

Tips for Buying a Sideboard

Here are some interesting yet essential tips to help you plan your purchase of the perfect sideboard for your space.


Firstly, do understand the importance of a sideboard. It’s useful for storing crockery, tablecloths, cutlery, rubbers, and other things that have to be necessarily placed in a living room or dining room.

The Right Size

Before you start scouring sideboards and cabinets, get a clear idea about the size that would best fit in the available space in your rooms. A smaller sized sideboard would not be functional enough and would just block the space on hand. On the other hand, by buying too big a sideboard, you will be blocking a major part of the wall; this would make the room look very full and occupied. Therefore, it’s recommended that you measure your requirements and buy a sideboard of the right size only.


In case you’ve been hunting for a dining room measuring a few square meters, it would be a good idea to restrict your search to a narrow but rather high design. This will allow you to leverage the vertical space available to you. For the smaller sized dining rooms, you can find sideboards with sliding doors and open shelves, or suitable dressers, to bring in a feeling of light-weightiness.

Styles, Colors, and Materials

While selecting the material, colour, and style of sideboards, it would help to keep the rest of the decoration in mind. The furniture pieces in any room should gel with each other and not look out of place with regards to the décor or theme. In case you like contrasting colours, then you may want to check out sideboards that can become the centerpiece of your dining or living room; while contrasting with the remaining decoration.

Buy a Functional Sideboard

Last but certainly not the least, invest in a sideboard that can help you display and store large and small objects without cramping the available space. A large-sized piece having many compartments would be a suitable bet if you keep having people over. In case you desire to buy a sideboard for its aesthetics then the priority would be on its ornateness and looks, rather than the storage value. Fortunately, there’s no dearth of options to choose from when it comes to sideboards. Assess your budget and needs and gear up to buy the perfect sideboard to add more value to your home.

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